Introduction to GLib

The GLib package contains low-level libraries useful for providing data structure handling for C, portability wrappers and interfaces for runtime functionality such as an event loop, threads, dynamic loading and an object system.



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Package Information

Additional Downloads

GObject Introspection (Recommended)

Patch for Log Level Selection (Optional)

GLib Dependencies





Cairo-1.18.0 (for some GObject Introspection tests), dbus-1.14.10 (for some tests), Fuse-3.16.2 and bindfs (both needed for one test), GDB-14.2 (for bindings), Gjs-1.80.2 (for some GObject Introspection tests), GTK-Doc-1.34.0 (for GObject Introspection documentation), docbook-xml-4.5, docbook-xsl-nons-1.79.2, Gi-DocGen-2024.1 (to build API documentation), glib-networking-2.80.0 (for some tests, but this is a circular dependency), Mako-1.3.5 and Markdown-3.4.1 (both for g-ir-doc-tool), and sysprof

Additional Runtime Dependencies

Installation of GLib

If desired, apply the optional patch. In many cases, applications that use this library, either directly or indirectly via other libraries such as GTK+-3.24.42, output numerous warnings when run from the command line. This patch enables the use of an environment variable, GLIB_LOG_LEVEL, that suppresses unwanted messages. The value of the variable is a digit that corresponds to:

1 Alert
2 Critical
3 Error
4 Warning
5 Notice

For instance export GLIB_LOG_LEVEL=4 will skip output of Warning and Notice messages (and Info/Debug messages if they are turned on). If GLIB_LOG_LEVEL is not defined, normal message output will not be affected.

patch -Np1 -i ../glib-skip_warnings-1.patch


If a previous version of glib is installed, move the headers out of the way so that later packages do not encounter conflicts:

if [ -e /usr/include/glib-2.0 ]; then
    rm -rf /usr/include/glib-2.0.old &&
    mv -vf /usr/include/glib-2.0{,.old}

Install GLib by running the following commands:

mkdir build &&
cd    build &&

meson setup ..                 \
      --prefix=/usr            \
      --buildtype=release      \
      -Dintrospection=disabled \
      -Dman-pages=enabled      &&

The GLib test suite requires desktop-file-utils for some tests. However, desktop-file-utils requires GLib in order to compile; therefore, you must first install GLib and then run the test suite.

As the root user, install this package for the first time to allow building GObject Introspection:

ninja install

Build GObject Introspection:

tar xf ../../gobject-introspection-1.80.1.tar.xz &&

meson setup gobject-introspection-1.80.1 gi-build \
            --prefix=/usr --buildtype=release     &&
ninja -C gi-build

To test the results of GObject Introspection, issue: ninja -C gi-build test.

As the root user, install GObject Introspection for generating the introspection data of GLib libraries (required by various packages using Glib, especially some GNOME packages):

ninja -C gi-build install

Now generate the introspection data:

meson configure -Dintrospection=enabled &&

If you have Gi-DocGen-2024.1 installed and wish to build the API documentation for this package, issue:

sed 's/glib-2.0/glib-2.80.3/'        \
    -i ../docs/reference/ &&
meson configure -Ddocumentation=true &&

As the root user, install this package again for the introspection data (and optionally, the documentation):

ninja install

You should now install desktop-file-utils-0.27 and shared-mime-info-2.4 and proceed to run the test suite.



Do not run the test suite as root or some tests will fail unexpectedly and leave some non-FHS-compliant directories in the /usr hierarchy.



If you have installed the glib-skip_warnings-1.patch and have the envronment variable GLIB_LOG_LEVEL set, unset it before running the tests. It will cause several tests to fail.

To test the results, after having installed the packages, issue: LC_ALL=C ninja test as a non-root user.

Command Explanations

--buildtype=release: Specify a buildtype suitable for stable releases of the package, as the default may produce unoptimized binaries.

-Dman-pages=enabled: This switch causes the build to create and install the package man pages.


GLib Contents

Installed Programs: gapplication, gdbus, gdbus-codegen, gi-compile-repository, gi-decompile-typelib, gi-inspect-typelib gio, gio-querymodules, glib-compile-resources, glib-compile-schemas, glib-genmarshal, glib-gettextize, glib-mkenums, gobject-query, gresource, gsettings, gtester, and gtester-report
Installed Libraries:,,,,, and
Installed Directories: /usr/include/gio-unix-2.0, /usr/include/glib-2.0, /usr/lib/gio, /usr/lib/glib-2.0, /usr/share/glib-2.0, and /usr/share/doc/glib-2.80.3 (optional)

GObject Introspection Contents

Installed Program: g-ir-annotation-tool, g-ir-compiler, g-ir-doc-tool (optional), g-ir-generate, g-ir-inspect, and g-ir-scanner
Installed Libraries: and _giscanner.cpython-312-<arch>
Installed Directories: /usr/include/gobject-introspection-1.0, /usr/lib/girepository-1.0, /usr/lib/gobject-introspection, /usr/share/gir-1.0, and /usr/share/gobject-introspection-1.0

Short Descriptions


can be used to start applications and to send messages to already-running instances of other applications


is a simple tool used for working with D-Bus objects


is used to generate code and/or documentation for one or more D-Bus interfaces


converts one or more GIR files into one or more typelib files


is a GIR decompiler that uses the repository API


is a utility that gives information about a GI typelib


is a utility that makes many GIO features available from the command line


is used to create a giomodule.cache file in the listed directories. This file lists the implemented extension points for each module that has been found


is used to read the resource description from a file and the files that it references to create a binary resource bundle that is suitable for use with the GResource API


is used to compile all the GSettings XML schema files in a directory into a binary file with the name gschemas.compiled that can be used by GSettings


is a C code marshaller generation utility for GLib closures


is a variant of the gettext internationalization utility


is a C language enum description generation utility


is a small utility that draws a tree of types


offers a simple command line interface to GResource


offers a simple command line interface to GSettings


is a test running utility


is a test report formatting utility

is a library providing useful classes for general purpose I/O, networking, IPC, settings, and other high level application functionality

is a library providing access to typelibs and introspection data which describes C APIs

is a general-purpose, portable utility library, which provides many useful data types, macros, type conversions, string utilities, file utilities, a mainloop abstraction, and so on

provides portable API for dynamically loading modules

provides the GLib base type system and object class

is a skeleton library for backwards compatibility; it used to be the GLib thread library but the functionalities has been merged info libglib-2.0


creates or extracts annotation data from GI typelibs


is a counterpart of gi-compile-repository for the old libgirepository-1.0 API


generates Mallard files that can be viewed with yelp or rendered to HTML with yelp-build from yelp-tools


is a counterpart of gi-inspect-typelib for the old libgirepository-1.0 API


is a counterpart of gi-decompile-typelib for the old libgirepository-1.0 API


is a tool which generates GIR XML files by parsing headers and introspecting GObject based libraries

is a counterpart of libgirepository-2.0 with the old 1.0 API